By Robin Ferris, cloud solutions architect at Pulsant
When it comes to cloud computing and the migration of services to the public cloud, we’ve been hearing the hype for years. “Just migrate to the cloud and everything will just work. Things will be bigger, faster, cheaper, and better.”
The reality is that a migration to the cloud can result in serious disappointment from unrealistic expectations. More than half of companies – 53 per cent of 524 surveyed – say they have not yet realised substantial value out of their cloud investments. Unrealistic expectations can come from not having clearly defined business goals for the migration, not understanding the technology, and not thinking strategically about what to migrate and what to keep on-premise.
What does success look like?
A cloud project, whether migrating existing systems or launching a new service, must have a clearly defined goal. Sometimes, in a desire to get things going, businesses will start moving before having a clear target or a defined roadmap of the journey. If you tried to build an on-premise system like that, the results wouldn’t be great. It is no different with cloud. A cloud project is an IT (Information Technology) project and should be subject to all the same planning and review processes.
This planning stage is a vital strategic moment for your business. If you’re considering migrating systems to the cloud, now is your chance to evaluate how well they work for the business. Would they benefit from moving to a hyperscaler, or should you keep them on-premise or in a data centre? Is now the time to upgrade or re-engineer them?
Don’t get distracted by technology
The cloud brings new capabilities – particularly around scalability, flexibility, and resilience – that would be hard to replicate in any but the largest and most complex on-premise IT estates.
But that doesn’t mean you need to go ‘all-in’ on the public cloud. Until quite recently hybrid infrastructures were seen as a halfway house. But today hybrid is more often a strategic position.
But it can be confusing, because the way you shop for cloud services is different, and the hyperscalers don’t make direct comparisons easy. The service and quality of certain products will differ and have more constraints due to a range of factors, such as location or hardware used.
For most organisations, hybrid infrastructure is more likely to bring the best cost benefits and performance. Working out which workloads go where is a vital step in the process. It rarely makes sense to shift every workload to a hyperscaler, especially if doing so requires re-engineering and additional management time spent on optimising and securing systems.
While a hybrid infrastructure is likely to help with faster deployment of new services and better cost control, it also brings more complex management. It’s difficult to measure performance across multiple systems, and if you can’t measure it, it’s extremely challenging to manage it. Our Pulsant Cloud can provide a single-pane-of-glass to give you visibility into workloads across the public and private cloud. It can help automate workflow tasks across online servers and hosted servers, helping you optimise and easily monitor your investment.
Can your business use it once you’ve got it?
Once you’ve got your new setup deployed and running, what’s going to happen? Remember, more than half of executives surveyed said that their businesses weren’t realising full value from the system.
That’s another key benefit of a hybrid infrastructure – it allows you to pivot and change as business needs change. It means you have more flexibility to shift workloads to optimise performance and cost. And it means you are more able to consider and pilot emerging technologies like edge computing.
I’ve been in tech for 25 years; the same messages are still here and still relevant. Business technology – from the typewriter to the mainframe to the web and now the cloud – has always been about giving your people the tools they needed to work better and to be more efficient.
At Pulsant we can help you dig down into workloads, hardware, connectivity, and interconnections to make better strategic decisions about building and developing your hybrid cloud implementation. We have data centres across the UK to provide low latency colocation services where your business needs them. And with Pulsant Cloud we have the right tools to provide the data and automation required to run a well-managed hybrid infrastructure – from the edge to the data centre and across multiple cloud environments.